A thief who stole a sports car, drove it on the wrong side of the road at 70mph during a police chase and crashed – all for a bag of drugs – has avoided jail.
Wesley Murdoch, aged 27, of Morgan Avenue, Shirecliffe, Sheffield was asked to steal a Mercedes 4x4 sports car in return for a bag of heroin, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Murdoch stole the car outside Walkley Dental Care on the morning of the August 7 this year.
Police then spotted the car two days later on a camera, driving down a road in Hillsborough.
Beverley Tait, prosecuting, said: “He was spotted driving out of a one-way street. He pulled out onto the wrong side of Stannington Road driving, officers say, 70mph on a 30mph road.
“Officers began the chase and Murdoch was seen trying to squeeze between two cars and ended up losing control before hitting a wall.”
Ms Tait said the two drivers of the other cars suffered whiplash and both vehicles were damaged.
The court heard the 27-year-old had a lengthy criminal history, with 14 convictions from 42 offences.
The thief was convicted of aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving while disqualified and possession of cannabis.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at a previous hearing and the possession of cannabis on the day of his sentence.
Murdoch also admitted failing to register as a sex offender when he was released from prison from an earlier offence.
Richard Jepson, mitigating, said: “Over the last 18 months, he has been his own worst enemy.
“Between 2012 and 2014 he stayed out of trouble, which does show considerable progress was made.
“He has only recently had a problem with class A drugs and was asked to take this car and it was for a bag of heroin.
“His partner is expecting their second child and he is very keen to become a father.
“He is 27 and there is time to change. He does not blame anyone else for what he has done.
“He is drug-free and there is a future in him, he knows this is his final chance.”
Judge Peter Kelson QC, sentencing, gave Murdoch a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.